Postage Stamps of Italy

by Tony Clayton

The Republic of Italy

1951 Milan Fair <<-- : -->> 1954 Pinocchio
Main Index
Republic Index

Syracuse Coin Definitives

There are many varieties of the Syracuse Coin stamps (called Italia Turrita in Italian Catalogues).

Winged Wheel Watermark

The first issue came out with Winged Wheel Type 3 watermarks in 1953. There were 8 values with a ninth (13 lire) being issued the following year. Only the 25 lire is known with an inverted CS watermark instead of the normal ND.

12 lire

12 Lire.
Sassone 712


Type 3 Winged Wheel
ND orientation


Type 3 Winged Wheel
CS orientation

Late in 1954 two high values were issued in recess in a larger format and Winged Wheel Type 2 watermarks. Usually perf 13¼, a very rare perf 13¼x12½ is known for the 100 lire.
100 lire

100 lire brown
Sassone 747

200 lire

200 lire blue
Sassone 748

Stars Watermark

They were issued with Stars watermarks from 1955. There are several types of star watermark, of which Type 3 only appeared on higher value stamps. Type 1 and 4 are very similar in orientation, 1 being sharp and clear while 4 is fuzzy; however variations between these extremes are known. Type 1 is also known with laid paper showing distinct narrow lines, while Type 2 has angled stars known in four possible orientations.

Type 1

Type 1 (distinct)
and Type 4 (fuzzy)

Type 2

Type 2 65°D
Orientation can vary: 65°S 25°S 25°D

40 lire

40 Lire.
Sassone 772

The original stars watermarked paper Types 1 and 4 had the stars pointing horizontally as in the diagram above, except for the 100 and 200 lire, and experimental coils of 10l, 15l and 30l (plus 25l for Type 1) where they point vertically. Type 2 coils are also known with the angle of the stars different.


Numerals on the back of 30 lire coil stamps
Sassone 770/V
Note that the Type 4 fuzzy stars in the watermark point vertically instead of the normal horizontal

The 100 lire came out with stars watermarks 2 and 3 in a variety of perforations in 1955, followed by the 200 lire two years later.

100 lire

100 lire, perf 13¼x12, Type 2 stars
Sassone 785

The 100 and 200 lire were replaced with smaller versions in 1959.

100 and 200 lire

100 lire and 200 lire
Sassone 873 and 874

Fluorescent Paper, Smaller Design

Finally they came out with a smaller design on fluorescent paper in 1968. The reduction in size was so that a wider band of plain paper round the edges gave a brighter response.

40 lire

40 lire rose lilac
Sassone 1075

200 lire

200 lire dark blue
Sassone 1084

There are various colours of fluorescence ranging from deep yellow through cream to a blue-white colour, but one of the scarcest issues of this set is the 100 lire printed on non-fluorescent Type 2 stars paper intended for fiscal stamps.


100 lire small design type, Type 2 25°D stars, non-fluorescent paper
Sassone 1083a

The following is an imperforate block of 4 of the 150 lire. Sadly, it is not thought that this stamp was issued at a Post Office, so it has a questionable status and is quite common.


150 lire small design type, imperforate block of 4
Sassone 1083Ad

1951 Milan Fair <<-- : -->> 1954 Pinocchio
Main Index
Republic Index

Syracuse Definitives
Copyright reserved by the author, Tony Clayton
v4 22nd April 2015
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